In Kentucky, Michael and Amy Walker are suing two veteran basketball coaches for their son’s wrongful death. Keith Michael Walker, 13, died during the first day of practice in October 2008 while running a drill at Grayson County Middle School.
The couple’s Kentucky wrongful death lawsuit accuses coaches George Meredith and Bill Lee of “acting with reckless disregard” toward their son’s safety and contends that they did not exercise reasonable or normal care. The complaint contends that the two men’s negligent actions contributed to the younger Walker’s wrongful death.
Walker collapsed about 30 minutes into basketball practice. He reportedly had passed physicals to participate n the tryouts. Autopsy results show that sudden cardiac arrest was the 7th grader’s cause of death.The Walkers’ Kentucky wrongful death lawsuit seeks unspecified punitive damages, in addition to damages for lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, sex crimes, medical expenses, and funeral costs.
Grayson County Schools says they believe the two defendants will be exonerated. The coaches’ attorney says heat did not contribute to the teenager’s death and that the two men did not place the teenager at risk of injury.
Personal Injury to Minors
Schools, youth camps, daycare centers, athletic teams, and others charged with the care and supervision of minors can be held liable for personal injury to minors or wrongful death if inadequate supervision or other negligent acts results in a person getting hurt or dying.
In an unrelated incident, the parents Jeffrey Dean Gilpin and Glenna Michele Crockett filed a Kentucky wrongful death lawsuit against the head coach and a number of assistant coaches at their 15-year-old son’s high school after he collapsed during football practice last year. They are accusing the defendants of negligence and reckless disregard contributing to his death.
Recently, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed legislation making it a requirement for high school athletic coaches to undergo sports safety training related to cold emergencies, heat stroke, face, neck, and head injuries, and emergency planning. Beginning the new school year, a trained supervisor must attend all athletic practices and games.